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Anishinabe Bimadisiwin

Indian way of life, or “the good life”

 

Through our teachings, our ancestors, elders and those of the midewewin have taught us that there is a land of souls. In that land there is no hunger, no sickness, no sorrow and there is no anger or envy.

It is a land of peace; inhabited by people of peace. For them there is plenty, there is only comfort and joy. Our teachings tell us that only people of peace may enter there. Others will suffer hardship, misfortune and sickness in this life, or they will be caught in the river that divides the land of the living and the land of souls.

Our teachings of the midewewin, tell us that we must lead good lives and this way of living will give us good health, good fortune and peace of heart in this world and give us admission to the land of souls.  Our teachers of the midewewin have taught us what is expected of us in order to truly live the good life.

First we must always honor kitchi manitou and thank him for this good life, for the winds, sun, waters and to muzzu kummik quae(earth woman) for it is upon her that we live and depend.

We must honor our elders, for it is them who are the wise and hold the knowledge. It is them who have received from kitchi manitou the greatest gift, the gift of long life. If they are slow, feeble and sometimes infirm, we must feed them, help and listen to them. We must be patient of them. For that to maybe our destiny, we to will some day be old.  We must honor our women. Our grandmothers, mothers, wives, sisters and all others. Treat your wife with kindness,comfort her,cheer her,look after her and she will look after you, for it is her who is your companion and friend in this life. Speak well of her and all her sisters.

We must love and cherish our abiinooji (children).It them who are the future and it is them whom we have borrowed this land, it is them who will be the next teachers, hopefully we have taught them well.  We must be kind to everyone. A child listening to it’s parents, that is kindness. Parents teaching their children, that is kindness. A hunter giving meat to the elderly, sick and the widowed, that is kindness.  A medicine person healing the sick, that is kindness. To feed or shelter the unfortunate, that is kindness. Do something for your people. Use your gifts and dreams for good. We must keep our promises and uphold our pledges. If we undertake to do something for another, we must full fill our word by deed, otherwise we are false. If we receive a vision, we must live out that vision, otherwise we are untrue. without truth to self and others there can not be trust.

We are to be peaceful. Dark dreams beget dark dreams, and cause clouded and troubled thoughts. Twisted thoughts spawn violent passions, which give rise to burning words and fiery speech breeds hurt and bad deeds. Temper your thoughts, passions and words. All this may be hard to achieve. But we must strive for peace of heart in this life and peace of soul in the next. We must honor our elder relations; Bear, Wolf, Eagle, Snake, snail and butterfly. Turtle, whitefish and Trout. We must honor the three sisters, Beans, Corn and squash. It is on all of them that we depend for our clothing and food. Treat them with respect and when you are in need, they will give of themselves.

We are to be courageous. The more we know the more we trust and the less we fear. If you are at peace and remember your totem and spirit helpers watch over you, you will be courageous. Lastly we are to be moderate in our dreams, thoughts and our words. We are never to indulge at the expense of another. Do not play to much, sleep to long, eat to much or talk to often. Listen and watch and someday you will be wise.

 

My Grandfather always talked about the teachings of a story. Some Virtues shown here are; peacefulness, honor / respect, gratefulness, generosity, patience, kindness / compassion, love, teaching, honesty, truth, courage, moderation, wisdom and knowledge. Now with this teaching, we can use our common sense to apply these virtues to our daily lives. Thankyou, eggy

 

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